Harsher animal cruelty laws - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Animal advocate says MS needs harsher animal cruelty laws

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Animal advocates continue to push for harsher cruelty laws in Mississippi. The Humane Lobby Day was held Wednesday at the Woolfolk Building in Jackson. That's where advocates talked about what they believe should be amended in the current law.

Right now a person can only be charged with one felony count of Animal Cruelty even if that person is harming hundreds of animals.

"Dog fighting, puppy mills, hoarding cases, torture and just regular neglect," said Mississippi State Director of The Humane Society of The United States Lydia Sattler.

Most recently a dog fighting training facility was busted in Rankin County. The sheriff's department seized three pit bulls, one of the animals scarred from its abuser.

And just last year in South Mississippi, police executed the second largest dog fighting raid in U.S. History. Some of the dogs rescued were living in filth, other animals were found dead.

During that raid, federal agents seized more than half a million dollars in cash from the alleged dog fighting gambling ring.

Sattler, says the number of cases in our state is overwhelming.

She says a change in the current animal cruelty law is critical.

"Right now it's a second offense felony for aggravated cruelty. And then there is simple cruelty and they are both one count per offense," said Sattler. "So, if you had 200 dogs you would get one charge of animal cruelty."

Sattler says the law must be changed to adequately protect animals because it could ultimately protect you as well.

"Every serial killer that we know of starting abusing animals first, before humans, every single one," said Sattler. "I'm not saying that every person that abuses animals will become a serial killer, but we know the evidence is there."

Senate Bill 2777 was introduced to help spur some change, but it did not pass in this legislative session.

If you want to know more about the animal cruelty laws in our state, click here.

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